In the past decade, Kelly Moore’s racing schedule is not as vast as it was at the height of his career. But, the 61-year-old Scarborough, Maine driver has maintained an ‘Iron Man’ status, competing in races of his choosing, mostly close to home with the Super Late Models of the Pro All Stars Series.
With all 2020 racing schedules being shortened due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, magnified further in Maine with the state’s harsh stance towards racetracks, all coupled with an intense year managing the family business of R.C. Moore Transportation, Moore has had little time to race.
Now with the fog of crisis continuing to clear, the 1995 NASCAR Busch North Series champion is finding the time to not only race, but looking at going to places he hasn’t been since those glory days racing Stock Cars in the Northeast.
This coming weekend, October 9-11, Kelly Moore is heading south to Connecticut with his famous No. 47 to compete in the PASS Super Late Model portion of the 58th Sunoco World Series at Thompson Speedway. It is one of the tracks that Moore found success on back in the 1990’s and is looking to find a bit more after a 10-year absence.
“I haven’t been there since 2010, I was looking at my old setup book. That was a fun time, been too long. This year we haven’t raced all that much, we had a really busy schedule with work. I’ve only raced five times, but my schedule has finally loosened up so we want to take advantage of it,” Moore told Speed51.
In fact, Moore is hoping to use World Series weekend as a start point, to get some momentum going and perhaps compete down in the Southeast alongside son and former Speed51 Short Track Draft #1 pick Ryan Moore.
“This fall, Ryan and I may do some more racing, we both have new cars. Again, we’ve both been busy with COVID, we got a big company, and we just race for fun and wins, no points. So, Thompson I saw on the schedule, we hadn’t been there in a long time, figured it’d be a good change of pace.”
As for the here and now, Kelly Moore is preparing for the high-speed menace that is ‘The Big T’. A track that has treated him well throughout his career, especially in Busch North where he won in August 1994 and May 1999.
“Those were big wins, Thompson is such an historic racetrack with the Hoenig’s owning the place all these years, Don Hoenig is a great guy. We got those wins back in the Busch North days, and we always ran well, it’s a place we always liked coming too. Even the last time we were there with the PASS cars in 2010, we running real strong, I think we even led, but broke a brake rotor.”
With 19 divisions of racecars competing over three days, practice will be a tough commodity for all, especially PASS teams who are not permitted to practice on Friday. All PASS practice, as well as heat races, will take place on Saturday, October 10, with the weekend’s 75-lap feature rolling on Sunday, October 11.
“There’s not a lot of practice, so I think we’re going to be on the same playing field. Except me for one, I haven’t raced a ton this year, so that will be a deficit. But I’m not looking at it as a negative, got a fresh car compared to some guys, it’s a new Fury car I’ve run only once. I want to get that on the racetrack and work out the last of the bugs,” explained Moore.
Despite the possibilities of unknowns lingering into Sunday raceday, the veteran racer hopes to have a few surprises left for the competition.
“You never know. At Oxford the last few years we haven’t had the success we wanted, but the banked tracks we’ve gone to the past few years, we’ve had a little more success compared to the flat tracks. Last time we went to White Mountain without any problems back in the summer, we finished fourth, and was in contention all day. As long as we don’t have any mechanical failures and keep our nose clean, I think we got as good a shot as anyone there for sure.”
While trying to snag a World Series trophy is a top priority, Moore is also looking forward to the lighter moments that come with the weekend. A chance to reconnect with the different corners of the vast racing family, some of which he has not seen in a decade or more.
“The World Series, 19 classes this year is going be a busy weekend, but it’s kind of a social event really. With that many classes there will be a little bit of downtime for everybody. It’s a fun time, the racing community, it’s good to take some time, and do some chit-chat just like the old days. We just got to remember to bring our masks this time around.”
Tickets are still available for the 58th Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing, but for those unable to make it to Thompson Speedway this weekend, Speed51.TV will provide a live pay-per-view broadcast of 13 racing divisions on the Saturday and Sunday portions of the program, including the Pro All Stars Series Super Late Models. (Click here to order)
-Story by: Connor Sullivan, Speed51 Northeast Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51